This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Greek to Geek: Classical Rhetoric & the Modern Web

#sxsw #greek2geek

We study rhetoric and we think you should too. Here's why:

Internet pundits obsess over the future of online communication. Every new tool and social platform spawns 1,000 predictions, most of them forgotten long before they pass the test of time. Amidst this frenzied speculation, it may be wise to slow down, turn ourselves around, and consider the past. The orators of ancient Greece and Rome established a framework that can help us make sense of contemporary problems in online communication--we'll show you how.

Interested in Internet memes and the lifecycle of successful ideas online? Learn about the concept of kairos, which the Greeks understood as knowing how to recognize and seize the opportune moment for action.

Need to understand credibility better for your online community? Aristotle had a thing or two to say about ethos, how to cultivate it, and how to assess it in others.

In short, you'll learn why rhetorical theory might just be the conversation you've been missing.



Jeff Swift Graduate Instructor North Carolina State University

I'm a Ph.D. student in Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media. I study digital rhetoric--publics, democratic theory, and activism.

I've worked as digital media consultant to an international nonprofit organization (One Heart Bulgaria) and to two state/local political campaigns.

Matt Morain PhD Candidate North Carolina State University

Internet researcher, graduate instructor, and ideas man of Irish descent and ever-so-slighly-below-average height. I'm finishing up my dissertation on rhetoric and meme culture and looking to join the market in creative digital media communications this summer.

Quinn Warnick Asst Professor St Edward's University

I am an assistant professor of English writing and rhetoric at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, where I teach classes in information design, technical and business communication, and writing for the web. My research focuses on identity, reputation, and credibility in online communities — three concepts that all hearken back to the Greek notion of "ethos." I am interested in the strategies people use to build their own ethos, evaluate the ethos of their online interlocutors, and contribute to the collective ethos of the communities to which they belong.

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